Howard libraries awarded $267,500 grant for STEM initiative

The Howard County Library System has been awarded a $267,500 federal grant to further develop its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program, the system announced last week.

The 2013 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services will specifically go toward the library initiative HiTech. HiTech is a program that teaches middle and high school students 21st century career skills and hands-on experience through computer programming, 3D animation, nanotechnology, e-books, game applications, cybersecurity and robotics.

The grant will allow the library system to expand its curriculum in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Mindgrub, and add more classes at all library branches. The library system will also expand HiTech into a fourth module (the first three are Interact, Improvise and Invent), Instruct: The HiTech Academy.

The academy will provide higher-level classes and include visits to STEM work sites and interviews with STEM professionals.

“We are proud to leverage the area’s best technology and teaching methodology to deliver a top-quality STEM education experience students clearly enjoy,” library system President and CEO Valerie Gross said in a release announcing the grant.

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